The latest “cover” story on Newsweek gives us the Krugmanized line: “Stop Saving Now!” Yes, it is those savers, those horrible, poisonous savers who are doing us in:
As consumers hibernate and investors hoard cash, the economy is withering. This new age of thrift is understandable. But for a recovery to take hold, Americans will need to start taking risks again.
Of course, since the administration is demonizing risk and demanding regulation that blocks risk-taking, Daniel Gross, the author of this abomination is barking up the wrong tree. Yes, according to Newsweek, it is those evil savers who are destroying the economy, and it is up to the government to ride to the rescue. Yes, that same government that encouraged recklessness with its easy money policies. Yeah, always blame private individuals. The State is our savior, Newsweek tells us.
While the Supply-Siders got a lot wrong, they were right about the need for Americans to build up their savings during a down time. In the election campaign of 1980, there was a lot said about rebuilding the economy through new capital investment (not malinvestment) and for the government to stop blocking people from saving money. (The Carter administration and its allies said that the government should “save” by raising taxes.)
In his March 2 column in Newsweek, Jonathan Alter praised the coming army of government “national service” groups that are going to be all over the place. We are seeing the hard left in this country doing what it has dreamed of doing for years: transforming the entire country into something in which the State is supreme and everyone else must bow down — or else be out of work.
Yes, it is those “reckless” savers that are doing damage to the economy, and it is up to the government to ferret out those miscreants and make them spend. And if they refuse or (horrors) “hoard” gold, then the new army of volunteers is going to make their lives miserable.